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Syria’s Child Refugees Face a Bitter Winter

Syria Winter

Syrian children are suffering through another cold winter, and UNICEF is raising funds to provide them warm winter clothing. The ongoing humanitarian effort in Syria is much more challenging this winter given a tenfold increase in the number of Syrian child refugees — from 70,000 to more than 1 million — in less than a year.

The U.S. Fund for UNICEF is helping UNICEF by procuring 20,000 kits containing thermal underwear, outerwear, socks, mittens and winter boots. Winter can be harsh in Syria and the surrounding region, and for refugees living in tents, exposure to the cold is significant. Children, already physically stressed by their experiences during the conflict, can face serious health consequences. 

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Frequently Asked Questions


HOW DID THIS CAMPAIGN BEGIN?

In August 2013, UNICEF determined that at least 100,000 children from Syria are in dire need of warm winter clothing. UNICEF's National Committees around the world, including the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, then began a concerted effort to raise funds for warm winter clothing kits for the region before the cold sets in. All monetary donations for the Syria warm winter clothing campaign will be earmarked to help the U.S. Fund and UNICEF buy winter clothes for Syrian children. 

HOW COLD DOES IT GET IN SYRIA?

Syria and the surrounding countries enjoy a temperate Mediterranean climate in coastal areas, but inland regions can become quite inhospitable, especially in winter. Temperatures fall to 0˙F (-17˙C) and below; winter storms and heavy snows are common. For refugees living in tents, exposure to the cold is significant. When it is winter outside, it is winter inside.

WHAT IS GOING INTO THE KITS?

Each kit contains thermal underwear, outerwear, socks and mittens. Kits for children age two and up will also contain winter boots. 

WHAT'S THE AVERAGE PRICE OF A KIT?

Approximately $45. 

HOW CAN I HELP? 

Your donation will be earmarked to help the U.S. Fund and UNICEF buy winter clothes for Syrian children. To donate, go to www.unicefusa.org/syriawinter

WHICH CHILDREN WILL RECEIVE THE KITS? 

UNICEF is supplying 100,000 kits for Syrian children across the region. The packages are being used by the most vulnerable children who are at risk of exposure to the cold.

WHO WILL SUPPLY THE KITS?

The U.S. Fund for UNICEF and other UNICEF National Committees.

WHY ARE THE KITS BEING SUPPLIED FROM SO FAR AWAY?

Because clothes are not generally items that UNICEF supplies in emergencies, the procurement will be handled by several UNICEF national committees, including the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. 

HOW MANY KITS WILL THE U.S. FUND FOR UNICEF SUPPLY?

20,000. The U.S. Fund has committed to supplying 20,000 kits through a combination of in-kind gifts and large-quantity purchases. The U.S. Fund is preparing 5,000 each of four types of kits for four different age groups. The U.S. Fund and its logistics partner, UPS, will assemble and deliver these kits to two countries where Syrian child refugees are located. 

WHERE WILL THE KITS FROM THE U.S. BE PACKED?

In Carteret, New Jersey and in Louisville, Kentucky.

HOW LONG WILL THE U.S. FUND'S SUPPLY OPERATION TAKE?

The clothes supplied by the U.S. Fund were packed into deliveries in two stages, on Oct. 19 and Oct. 26, and sent by sea. They have arrived in the region and are in the process of being distributed.

WHAT IS UNICEF'S ROLE IN THE SYRIAN CONFLICT?

The conflict in Syria began in April 2011. More than 5 million children are affected. UNICEF’s role is to provide lifesaving humanitarian assistance and protection to the children of Syria. UNICEF still needs $222 million to assist Syrian children who have been affected by the ongoing violence, which means critical programs are threatened. Clean water and sanitation, schools, health care and nutrition are all at risk. To learn more, go to http://childrenofsyria.info/

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